DC Universe Wave 10
Batman and the Joker

Joker and Batman DC Universe Classics wave 10 action figures by Mattel

I hate Wal-mart. Yes, I'm one of THOSE people. But I generally keep my Wal-mart hate to myself, and just avoid buying anything there.

Of course, my ethics can't possible hold out against an exclusive wave of my favorite action figure line. Hey, I'm weak. And so it was with great sadness that I heard wave 10 of the DC Universe Classics would once again (remember wave 5? I know you do) be their exclusive to keep from us.

There are seven figures once again, including Batman, Joker (both reviewed tonight), Man-bat (repainted from the old SDCC exclusive version), Power Girl, Robotman, Beast Boy and Forager. The BAF (or CnC, as Mattel likes to call them) is Imperiex, another big boy for the shelf.

Wal-mart and Mattel claim that they've significantly increased the production on this series over wave 5. Yep, we've heard that one before.

This time around though, it appears that there are no variants, at least not that I've heard of at this point. That's good - it's already going to be hard enough to track these down.
Joker and Batman DC Universe Classics wave 10 action figures by Mattel
Joker and Batman DC Universe Classics wave 10 action figures by Mattel
Joker and Batman DC Universe Classics wave 10 action figures by Mattel
Joker and Batman DC Universe Classics wave 10 action figures by Mattel
Joker and Batman DC Universe Classics wave 10 action figures by Mattel
Joker and Batman DC Universe Classics wave 10 action figures by Mattel
Joker and Batman DC Universe Classics wave 10 action figures by Mattel
Joker and Batman DC Universe Classics wave 10 action figures by Mattel
Joker and Batman DC Universe Classics wave 10 action figures by Mattel
Joker and Batman DC Universe Classics wave 10 action figures by Mattel

Packaging - ***
When you are reviewing a long standing line like this, it starts to get pretty tough to say anything particularly interesting about the packaging with every new wave. With some of the last wave, they got creative with the shape of the interior bubble, but this time it's just designed to hold the figures in a pose. My Batman came out with a bit of a twisted ankle because of it, but the plastic was sturdy enough to allow me to adjust it a bit.

Do take care when opening the Bats if you cut the bubble off the card. I scratched the cape on mine with the knife, not realizing how close it was to the back and side of the pack.

Sculpting - Joker ****; Batman ***
Are you a Super Powers fan? Then you'll love this Joker. Actually, you'll probably love this Joker anyway, but the Super Powers fans may have a little more gush.

The reason is simple: the Four Horsemen went back to that figure for much of the style of this one. It's not an exact match of course, and it shouldn't be. Instead, they took what once was, and improved on it, making a classic even better.

That was no easy task, either, since they had to re-use body parts whenever possible. The Joker uses a number of pieces from the earlier Gentleman Ghost, but you could have both figures on the shelf next to each other and never notice. They've done a terrific job designing a Joker that looks unique, and yet fits in completely with the overall series.

The head sculpt is the most impressive feature of course, with wild grin, psychotic eyes, and nicely detailed hair. It does look a little weird in profile, as the chin hangs way down due to the open mouth. But from the front he looks absolutely amazing, and has instantly become my favorite Joker of all time. And considering the number of Joker figures I own, going all the way back to the Mego Comic Action Heroes of the 70's, I'd say that's a pretty impressive feat.

It's easy to forget he's only 6" or so tall, because of the wonderful detailing to the face. He also has hands sculpted to work both with the accessories and in a number of poses, making them very versatile.

Batman uses more of the various body parts we've seen before, including the extra buff torso. This looks an awful lot like a repaint of the series 1 Batman, but I don't have my original handy to be sure. The big torso on the shorter legs throws the proportions off a bit for me. Unlike the PE version, here you get sculpted boots and gloves, as well as a belt designed to match the old Burton movies. He's not my favorite Batman, but it's nice to finally get a decent black and yellow costume to go on the shelf with the many blue/gray and black/gray varieties.

He also has hands sculpted to hold his accessories, as well as a solid rubbery cape. I would have preferred a cloth cape, like the old Zipline Batman. That one still remains, after all this time, my single favorite version of the caped Crusader.

Both figures stand great on their own in a number of poses, although the Joker can take slightly more dynamic ones. It's that heavy cape - it tends to topple Bats over since it throws his center of gravity toward the back.

Paint - ***
Batman has the aforementioned black and yellow color combination, like the old Keaton Batman from 20 years ago. The work is clean, and the cut lines between these two difficult colors is clean and straight. Yellow often bleeds, but here it looks terrific.

(NOTE: Calling this a Keaton Batman is not technically accurate, but that's what he reminds me of. This is really a Morrision version from the comics, but at the time of the Burton films, Kenner produced a Batman for their movie line that is very similar to this one, hence the connection for me.)

The only really fuzzy cut line is between the face and the cowl, where the flesh tone is riding up on the edge that should actually be black.

But my biggest quibble with Batman is that the symbol seems much too high on his chest. It's practically on his neck, much higher than the usual placement.

The Joker has a few more quality problems than Batman does. You'll notice the obvious black mark on his forehead, and there's also a bit more slop around a number of the cut lines. His hair line needs to be cleaner as well, but most of these issues are only really obvious under close scrutiny.

He also has a ton of positive in this area, especially with the lips, teeth, and small details of the clothing. The tiniest button got a paint op, something that doesn't always happen in this time of rising costs. The stripes on the pants are straight and clean, and I love the color palette.

Articulation - Batman ***1/2; Joker ***
I'm a huge fan of the articulation on the DCUC figures (and their counterparts like the Public Enemies line). Both Batman and Joker have the usual joints - pin/post style ball shoulders, cut biceps, pin elbows, cut wrists, ball neck, ab crunch, cut waist, cool post/hinge hips, cut thigh, pin knees, and pin ankles. A big plus here is that both ball jointed necks work well, allowing for some decent tilt action in most directions.

On the downside, the Joker has a few issues holding him back from that extra half star. His cut biceps are very loose, and tend to gap quite a bit. His joints are also looser than usual overall, and the pin ankles are a bit restricted by the pant sculpt.

Accessories - Joker ****; Batman ***1/2
Often the DCUC figures end up on the short end of the stick in this category, but not this time.

Imperiex is the Collect and Connect figure this time around, and the Joker has one leg. Batman has the silly little display stand - you won't be buying him for that.

However, he does have a very cool batarang that fits nicely in his hands, as well as a nifty folding laptop looking device. Shaped like a bat, the wings fold in to cover the interior. It's the Bat-iPod on steroids.

The Joker comes with even more extras. He has his cane with a very intricate jester topper. He can hold it easily in his right hand, or in both if you prefer. He also has the usual large wooden mallet, painted green. While the green color looks a little odd under bright light (green often has consistency problems in bright light) it looks great in person.

He also has two small accessories - a set of fanned cards, and a smiling fish. The fish has gotten to be one of his trademarks, featured both in the silver age comics and in the old Batman The Animated Series. The sculpts on these are good, with reasonable paint ops considering the scale. He can hold them both as well, especially in his left hand.

Fun Factor - ****
You can't ask for better action figures. Great sculpts, cool accessories, excellent articulation, all wrapped around two iconic characters that kids still know and love. Damn, I wish the Batman: Brave and the Bold line was done in the same style.

Value - **1/2
At $13 a piece, these are a buck or two more than past waves. However, both Bats and the Joker come with enough extras to make you feel the sting slightly less. *Slightly* less.

Things to Watch Out For -
If you have a selection on the pegs to choose from, then you'll obviously go for the best paint you can. Other than that, you should be good to go.

Overall - Joker ***1/2; Batman ***
As I mentioned earlier, this Joker is now my favorite on the shelf. He's a wonderful combination of retro and modern, and works both as a collectible and a toy - not something too many action figures can claim.

The Batman is solid work, and I like him quite a bit better than the disappointing Public Enemies version. It's nice to have an updated black/yellow version, but he's not going to displace Zipline Batman at the top of the heap.

BTW, if you think I some how got lucky and found these at a local Wal-mart, think again. A kind reader sent them along for cost, as well as Power Girl, so my hunt has narrowed by three. I'm really hoping that the newest Wal-mart in town will eventually get some, but I won't be betting my life on it.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - Joker ****; Batman ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - Batman ***1/2; Joker ***
Accessories - Joker ****; Batman ***1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - Joker ***1/2; Batman ***

Where to Buy -
Wave 10 is, sadly, a Wal-mart exclusive. Your odds of finding them might be small at this point, but there are rumors that they'll be out in greater numbers as we get closer to the holiday season. Let's hope the rumors prove true.

Related Links -
Other DCUC reviews include:

- you can find wave 9 part 1 here, and part 2 over here.

- I split wave 8 up into two parts, one here and one here.

- prior to that was wave 7 (duh), which I covered here.

- I broke wave six into two reviews, one here and one here.

- no, I never reviewed wave 5, but prior to that was wave 4 which I also broke into this review, and this one.

- of course, prior to that was wave 3.

- I covered wave 1 in two parts, one here and one at here. It took me so freakin' long to find them, I never did review wave 2, but if you're looking for one, Kastor's Korner has a great review.

- last up in the DCSH figures were the Clayface and Bruce to Bats figures.

- before that was Mongul, who is also one of the best figures this year and Parasite and Steel

- don't forget the 12" version of the smaller Batman, and the 12" Cyborg Superman.

- in this smaller line, the fourth series was Superman themed, with Brainiac and Darkseid. There's also the Batgirl and Superman from the two packs. 

- there's the guest review of series 3 Batman and Azrael.

- a guest review of series 2 Doomsday, and another of the series 2 Superman.

- my review of the series 2 Bizarro and Supergirl.

- my review of the Batman and Killer Croc from wave 1.

- and finally, my review of Bane and Scarecrow that were released internationally as part of the old Mattel line, and then re-released with wave 1 of the DCSH.

- and while the aren't technically DCUC, the new Public Enemies figures are close enough for most of us. I split the review into part 1 and part 2.

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Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  My score converted to a five star system for comparison: 4.0

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Joker and Batman DC Universe Classics wave 10 action figures by Mattel

This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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